Senegal is the foremost champion of gender parity in Africa, a reputation which other countries on the continent should look to be emulating, the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG-A) has posited.
In a statement on Tuesday ahead of marking African Day of Decentralization and Local Development on Wednesday, the UCLG-A called on political authorities and parliaments to take voluntary action which would pave the way for women to consist of at least 30 percent of political candidates making up lists for elective office at the local level.
“The example of Senegal which has adopted laws for gender parity should be pondered and imitated” the statement said.
This year’s African Day of Decentralization and Local Development will cast a heavy spotlight on gender equity and women’s empowerment according to UCLG-A.
This year’s commemoration which falls on Wednesday will have as its theme "Gender, equity, and women empowerment key for achieving African’s Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)".
According to the UCLG-A sub-themes will look into ways of improving women’s representation in local governments across Africa, empower those in rural areas and their role in ending poverty and hunger on the continent.
The organization which represents local government authorities in Africa said women’s representation in political and administrative bodies has been at the heart of its concern for over five years.
“It is indeed during the Africities 2009 Summit in Marrakech, Morocco that the members of our organization have instructed the Secretariat to promote the network of local elected women of Africa (REFELA)” said.
The REFELA founding forum was held in Tangiers, Morocco five years ago.